International Relations in the Ancient Near East, 1600-1100 B.C.

By Mario Liverani | Go to book overview

Preface

The present book has a long history that is necessary to summarize here. In 1970, when acting as Director of the Research Project on ‘Political Conceptions in the Ancient Near East’ (sponsored by the Italian CNR), I planned a collective work on the international relations of the Near East in the Late Bronze age. The original plan included an introduction to the subject (by myself), a chapter on the exchange of gifts (by C. Zaccagnini), one on matrimonial exchange (by F. Pintore) and one on the exchange of letters (by G. Del Monte). But very soon it became clear that the original ‘chapters’ were growing into books, which (Del Monte excepted) eventually happened: that by C. Zaccagnini was published in 1973 as Lo scambio dei doni nel Vicino Oriente durante i secoli XV–XIII, and that by F. Pintore was published in 1978 as Il matrimonio interdinastico nel Vicino Oriente durante i secoli XV–XIII. My ‘introduction’ had also begun to assume book proportions, and I worked intensively on it during the early 1970s, being later on distracted by more urgent tasks and by periods of low productivity. In 1984 I took the opportunity of a sabbatical year to resume work on the subject and write the basic manuscript; this was done in Chicago. Back in Rome, I was again distracted by various engagements until the period from January to July 1989, which I was able to keep entirely free in order to complete the book.

A first edition appeared in 1990, as Prestige and Interest. International Relations in the Near East ca. 1600–1100 B.C. (Padua: Sargon). This was basically devoted to the specialized audience of ancient Near Eastern scholars and, as a result, was filled with philological details and minute bibliographical references. An Italian edition appeared in 1994, as Guerra e diplomazia nell'antico Oriente, 1600–1100 a.C. (Rome and Bari: Laterza). This was devoted chiefly to a larger audience of Italian readers, with no philological details, drastically selected bibliography and illustrations. The very limited impression of the English-language Padua edition had in the meantime completely sold out.

In September 1996, on the occasion of the Rockefeller-funded conference in Bellagio on ‘Amarna Diplomacy’, the papers of which were eventually published under the editorship of R. Cohen and R. Westbrook as Amarna Diplomacy. The Beginnings of International Relations (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000), I met Professor Geoffrey Berridge. He suggested that I publish in a revised form my Prestige and Interest, a book

-vii-

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International Relations in the Ancient Near East, 1600-1100 B.C.
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Abbreviations xiii
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I - Territory and Borders 15
  • 1 - Inner vs. Outer Territory 17
  • 2 - Universal Control 23
  • 3 - The Boundaries of the World 29
  • 4 - Symbolic Attainment of the World Border 34
  • 5 - The Coexistence of Different States 38
  • 6 - Moving Borders 46
  • 7 - The Boundary as a Watershed for Taxation 52
  • 8 - The Boundary as a Watershed for Responsibilities 57
  • 9 - Runaways and Extradition 66
  • 10 - Messengers and ‘Ambassadors’ 71
  • Part II - War and Alliance 77
  • 11 - The One Against Many 79
  • 12 - War as Elimination of the Rebels 86
  • 13 - Conquest as a Cosmic Organization 91
  • 14 - Peace as Submission 97
  • 15 - Ordeal by War 101
  • 16 - The Rules of War 108
  • 17 - The Battle of Megiddo 116
  • 18 - Peace as Mutual Recognition 122
  • 19 - The Ideology of Protection 128
  • 20 - The Ideology of Brotherhood 135
  • Part III - Circulation of Goods 139
  • 21 - Priority and Continuity of the Redistributive Pattern 141
  • 22 - Intervention of the Reciprocal Pattern 146
  • 23 - Accumulation vs. Circulation 151
  • 24 - Self-Sufficiency vs. Interdependence 155
  • 25 - The Ideology of Life 160
  • 26 - Hatshepsut and Punt: Trade or Tribute? 166
  • 27 - Wen-Amun and Zakar-Ba'Al: Gift or Trade? 170
  • 28 - The Annals of Tuthmosis Iii: Tribute or Gift? 176
  • 29 - The Origins of Tribute 183
  • 30 - Equal vs. Unequal Marriages 189
  • 31 - Conclusions 196
  • Chronologies 203
  • Notes 205
  • Index 233
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